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I stopped smoking and lost weight healthily. What was my secret?

I stopped smoking and lost weight to a healthy level years ago. What was my secret?


My secret was reframing and changing my vocabulary and thought process about smoking and food. Self-coaching for success.

Simply changing “I can’t eat that” to “I WON’T eat that”


“I’ve given up smoking” or "I can’t smoke” to “I DON’T smoke” changed the way I thought about smoking and food.

Research in a study referenced here showed that when participants' language patterns changed from can’t to won’t the internal motivation changed and people were more resilient.

So how did this help me stop smoking and eat more healthily?

Most people say “I have given up smoking”, but think about the language. What have you given up? Being healthy? Not killing yourself? Not filling your lungs with tar? Losing lots of money?

Changing my language to “I have stopped smoking” and thinking about the gains I had from stopping smoking really helped me reframe my success. Every time that craving came I really focused on the positive aspects of stopping and visualised a healthier and richer me!


Think about the phrase:

“I can’t have that cake” vs “I won’t have that cake”.

Saying “I won’t” reinforces your internal motivation to succeed.

Thinking about your language patterns can help you reframe, gain resilience and really move towards your goals. This is the ultimate in self-coaching for your own success. Your internal and external dialogue and the stories you are telling yourself have an immense effect on your subconscious/ unconscious mind and therefore following behaviours.

Change your language, change your life!

Caroline Langston is the Co-Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an Executive, Personal and Career Development Coaching company in Hong Kong and New York. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for performance success, wellness and happiness in their careers and lives. She is degree qualified with a Certificate in Professional Coaching Mastery. She is also a Professional Certified Accredited Coach (International Coaching Federation), has a Certificate in Team Coaching from the EMCC and further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level. 

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